15 days in Japan Itinerary

15 days in Japan Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Melbourne
Fly:  13​h 30​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  2​h 45​min
2
Kyoto
— 2 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
3
Hiroshima
— 2 nights
+3
train + subway + Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
4
Yakushima-cho
— 1 night
+3
taxi + Fly + train + bus:  7​h 15​min
5
Motobu-cho
— 1 day
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  6​h 30​min
6
Iriomote-jima
— 1 night
ferry:  1​h
7
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
8
Miyakojima
— 2 nights
Fly:  15​h 30​min
End: Melbourne

2
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Mon): admire the landmark architecture of Tokyo Tower, ponder the world of politics at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and finally get your game on at Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sensō-ji and then wander the streets of Odaiba.

For ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Tokyo day trip planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to Japan Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Melbourne in December, you will find days in Tokyo are colder (14°C), and nights are a bit cooler (4°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou ©
Owl cafe Akiba Fukurou
Meiji Jingu Shrine ©
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Tokyo Tower ©
Tokyo Tower

2
nights
Kyoto

Kyoto ©
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
On the 4th (Wed), contemplate the long history of Tofuku-ji Temple, contemplate the long history of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, and then contemplate the long history of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, then don't miss a visit to Eikando Zenrinji Temple, and finally take a stroll through Gion.

For other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read our Kyoto road trip site .

Getting from Tokyo to Kyoto by train takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Kyoto can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Thu) to allow time to take a train to Hiroshima.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine ©
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Eikando Zenrinji Temple ©
Eikando Zenrinji Temple

2
nights
Hiroshima

Hiroshima ©
Grapple with history and appreciate modernity in Hiroshima, a city known around the world for its tragic past and inspiring rebirth.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Fri): snap pictures at Kintaikyo Bridge and then examine the collection at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. On your second day here, contemplate the long history of Peace Memorial Park - Hiroshima, pause for some photo ops at The Cenotaph, then get engrossed in the history at Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, then steep yourself in history at Atomic Bomb Dome, and finally admire the natural beauty at Shukkei-en Garden.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Hiroshima travel planner.

Getting from Kyoto to Hiroshima by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Hiroshima can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Hiroshima

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Kintaikyo Bridge
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sun): make a trip to Wilson Stump, then take in breathtaking views at Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley, and then don't miss a visit to Jōmon Sugi.

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Yakushima-cho online trip itinerary planner .

Getting from Hiroshima to Yakushima-cho by combination of train, flight, and taxi takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Hiroshima in December, expect Yakushima-cho to be somewhat warmer, temps between 18°C and 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to Motobu-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley ©
Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley
Wilson Stump ©
Wilson Stump

1
day
Motobu-cho

Motobu-cho ©
Formed by the gradual merging of several old fishing villages, today the island town of Motobu-cho boasts paradisal beaches of white sand, clear waters, and a rich array of wildlife.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Nakijin Castle Ruins, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Okichan Theater, and then stroll through Okinawa Memorial Park Ocean Expo Park.

For where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Motobu-cho travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Yakushima-cho to Motobu-cho takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and ferry. When traveling from Yakushima-cho in December, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Motobu-cho: temperatures range from 24°C by day to 15°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to travel to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Motobu-cho

Parks Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Nakijin Castle Ruins
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Nakijin Castle Ruins ©
Nakijin Castle Ruins

1
night
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): head off the coast to Iriomote Island and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Iriomote-jima day trip planning app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Motobu-cho to Iriomote-jima. Traveling from Motobu-cho in December, Iriomote-jima is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) early enough to catch the ferry to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Iriomote Island ©
Iriomote Island

2
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): enjoy breathtaking views from Maesedake Observation Site, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonehara Beach, then enjoy breathtaking views from Tamatorizaki Observatory, and finally enjoy the sea views from Cape Hirakubozaki. On the 12th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a leisurely stroll along Nishi Pier, enjoy the sand and surf at Kondoi Beach, then stroll around Banna Park, and finally walk around Kabira Park.

For ratings, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki online tour planner .

Ride a ferry from Iriomote-jima to Ishigaki in an hour. In December in Ishigaki, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Taketomi-cho
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki
Tamatorizaki Observatory ©
Tamatorizaki Observatory

2
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Sunayama Beach, take in the views from Irabu Ohashi, then kick back and relax at Yonaha Maehama Beach, and finally take in the views from Kurima Bridge. On your second day here, make a trip to East Henna Cape, then step off the mainland to explore Shimojiiima Island, and then take in the views from Ikema Ohashi Bridge.

To see more things to do and other tourist information, go to the Miyakojima trip itinerary site .

Getting from Ishigaki to Miyakojima by flight takes about 2 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 25°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Yonaha Maehama Beach ©
Yonaha Maehama Beach
Ikema Ohashi Bridge ©
Ikema Ohashi Bridge
Irabu Ohashi ©
Irabu Ohashi

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